Ignore the Woman Behind the Curtain

I’ve been reading blogs about using voice in SL. Forget that. That will be the least of my troubles. I don’t want you to ever SEE me!!!! I love the illusion presented by my avatar. I am sooooo glad that you can’t see the chaos and fumbling that is going on behind her. It’s humiliating enough that Ahuva sends out anguished calls for rescue. If you saw what was happening with her hardware you’d be amazed that she’s allowed out without a keeper.

Yesterday was my big adventure into Business in SL. I was going to attend an actual business meeting being held my my RL employer. (Hey remember – my manager told me to do this – I was to be my department’s SLA (SL ambassador) and I was to figure out how to host a meeting for OUR department). I did a trial run back on Tuesday night – going to check out how to get to the meeting site, making sure I had a business casual outfit. This was my big moment to meet more team members.

Of course that day in the office was crazed – lots of heated emails, phone calls, anguish, drama, reconciliation. You know – typical office stuff. So I left later than I hoped but still with enough time to get home and set up the machine. Rather – machines. I had my office laptop to setup next to the gaming laptop. I needed to keep an eye on the day’s crises. So there are the 2 machines, side-by-side, booting up. Get out my cell phone, plug that in also. Things are looking good – I’m SURE I’m under control.

Ah! There I am, in my beach chair. Time to change outfits. Hey – where are my shoes??? And my earrings??? I KNOW I saved this outfit with that stuff. Okay, no big deal. Things are a little slow to rez but I add the shoes and earrings. I check the time and realize I now have only 2 minutes to go.

I frantically teleport to the site I checked out Tuesday. There’s no one around. Uh oh. Maybe they are all upstairs in the meeting room. So I enter the building, and head up the spiral stairs. I have Local Chat on so I should be able to hear people talking. Nothing. No one. Lonely, lonely, lonely. It’s like my recurring nightmare from college – they moved the classroom and I went to the old one and couldn’t find my class and there’s a test. I stand in the deserted meeting room and think “Oh no, how could I be so wrong?” In the meantime, back in RL I am dialing in to the phone portion. EXCEPT I DON’T HAVE THE PASSCODE!!!!! I check my calendar entry – nothing. I try frantically to get my mail opened on the work computer – it freezes. (WHY do computers hate me????) I try calling again and entering no password – doesn’t work. Trying to go to the online bulletin board to see if the meeting information is there – machine still frozen. Rebooting. Dialing again. Standing helplessly in the empty room wondering who I can call, to whom can I send an IM, where can I go for help?????

And then – the angel of mercy appears!!!! She says “Hi Ahuva, are you here for the meeting?” The model of cool professionalism I reply “oh yes, please help me, I’m totally new!!!!!! And I don’t have the phone passcode either!!!!!” So much for first impressions. N types back the passcode. NO PEN ON MY DESK!!! I lunge for the pen on the other counter, knocking the cell phone to the floor where the back flies off. Grab the phone, piecing it back together, scribbling the passcode so if the IM box vanishes I can still call in. The work laptop has finally rebooted everything, the phone appears to still work, and N disappears. I trust that the TP invite will come soon. In the meantime I dial in to the meeting and hear voices!!!! I put the cell phone on speaker phone muted. The voices chat a little and then ask “who just joined us?” Uh oh. They mean me. I have to get the phone unmuted. (oh please my darling dog – don’t bark now). Fumble, fumble, fumble…. Voices saying “I guess we have lurkers on the line” FINALLY! I say “hi, it’s “ oh NO! WHO is it?? Is it Ahuva? Or is it my RL name????? I have no idea what’s protocol. They still can’t see Ahuva because the TP request hasn’t come in, so I’m really only a RL voice at this point. But I’m still hoping I’m going to be an SL person. Okay, deep breath. Get a GRIP, girl.

Hi! This is Ahuva! I’m here, lurking. But I’m very new so I don’t think I’ll have much to say. Wow. Now wasn’t THAT witty and memorable and impressive? The voices say hello, the TP invite comes and I jump to the CORRECT meeting spot. There are maybe 8 people there. The meeting starts late, as people TP in slowly and voices join on the phone. There’s the welcome, review of the agenda and the meeting begins.

Hey. This is just like RL. I’m sitting in a meeting with maybe 8 others and a bunch of people on the speaker phone. Okay, so some outfits are NOT your typical business casual but really not too outré for SL. There is a little bit of local chatter but it is all directed at the phone conversation – comments on that discussion. The meeting proceeds along, the hour passes, the agenda is covered, we’re all thanked for attending. Everyone winks out. I’m left with N. I thank her and TP back to my beach chair.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Was it anti-climatic? Yes, I suppose so. Was it also exciting? No, not really exciting. Curious and interesting might be better descriptions. Did I feel good about getting there? Oh yes, I feel very triumphant – another personal mini-goal accomplished. And I bookmarked the room so I should be able to get there on my own next time. But is it anything to write home about? Or more accurately, is there any material there for a blog??? Nah.